Local News

Fayetteville woman thwarts police impersonator

Posted May 19, 2010

— Police said a man impersonating a police officer tried to pull over woman on the side of the road in Fayetteville Wednesday morning.

Authorities said the man was driving a dark blue Chevrolet Blazer. The incident occurred near the intersection of Old Wilmington Road and Eastern Boulevard.

Fayetteville police spokesman Dan Grubb said the man pulled close to the back of the woman’s car and flashed three blue lights in his dashboard.

Fayetteville woman thwarts fake cop Fayetteville woman thwarts fake cop

When the woman did not stop, police said the man got more aggressive.

The woman sensed something wasn’t right and called 911. Police did not have a record of an officer working a stop in the area and dispatched an officer to the scene.

“The dispatcher led her to a well lit parking lot,” Grubb said.

Officers canvassed the area but did not find the suspect, who was described as a middle-aged white man with short hair.

Police said the woman, who was not identified by police, did the right thing by contacting authorities.

“She did everything like you are supposed to,” Grubb said.

Authorities said anyone who with concerns about the identity of a police officer should follow the following safety tips:

  • Look for obvious signs, such as a marked police car and some type of police uniform.
  • If you’re still not sure, ask to see the officer's credentials.
  • You can call 911 to verify that a police officer is actually the person stopping you. Authorities suggest doing this when you are being stopped by an unmarked car or if the officer is not in uniform. Many traffic officers drive unmarked cars, but should be in uniform
  • Pull over in a well lit area and if you have to travel some distance to get to that area, put on your flashers, call 911 and let the dispatcher know what you are doing.

This story is closed for comments.

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  • wildcat May 21, 2010

    She was a smart girl. Of course it could have went the other way, too.

  • didisaythat May 20, 2010

    mpheels, I know this is off the subject of the article, but since you brought up Arizona I felt your issue with that law is a little off. Yes I suppose all of the legal immigrants do cary their visa/green card ( and are required to). That is not the issue it is the illegals that don't have them. And the law does not say LEO's can now stop someone just because they look Hispanic. If after a lawful stop or encounter and they have reasonable suspicion to believe the person maybe illegal, the officer can investigate further and arrest if determined to be illegal.. Nothing wrong or illegal there. LEO's do it everyday with other crimes immigration law should not be different.

  • meBNme May 20, 2010

    "Should be against the law to PURCHASE FLASHING BLUE LIGHTS, POLICE UNIFORMS AND EQUIPMENT. Should carry a hefty fine for sellers and buyers."

    There are already laws in place for this. At least as far as the lights and uniforms go.

    I disagree about the "equipment" part of the comment.

    Police "equipment" can consist of utility belts, holsters, boots, tactical bags and accessories, tactical flashlights, communications equipment, bladed tools etc. There is no reason to prohibit civilians from purchasing such items when there are already laws in place prohibiting their use in an attempt of impersonation of a police officer or emergency personel.

  • Alexia.1 May 20, 2010

    wildcat, Myra, what you suggest is why we have so many stupid laws in this state. Did you know it's illegal to wear a mask on Halloween and walk down the street in NC if you're over 16? Yep. That is another reactionary law that was well-intentioned, but not well written.

    We should never try to solve every problem by creating a law that whacks at a contributing factor, but not the problem. Why not ban cars, too? He was driving a vehicle, after all.

    The root of the problem is that a person impersonated a police officer. That is illegal and if the person is caught, he'll be charged.

    How do we prevent this? Well, why not require the word "Police" painted right across the top of the window like the word "ambulance" is across the hood of an ambulance? We could require the words to be visible when the blue lights flash. I'd agree with a law against painting "Police" on your car window and there likely is one already.

  • wildcat May 20, 2010

    Should be against the law to PURCHASE FLASHING BLUE LIGHTS, POLICE UNIFORMS AND EQUIPMENT. Should carry a hefty fine for sellers and buyers.


  • wildcat May 20, 2010

    Smart Girl!

  • Myra May 20, 2010

    Should be against the law to PURCHASE FLASHING BLUE LIGHTS, POLICE UNIFORMS AND EQUIPMENT. Should carry a hefty fine for sellers and buyers.

  • mpheels May 20, 2010

    tatermommy, LEOs only have to show proof of their position if they are acting in an official capacity. If they didn't routinely carry and display their badges, it would be even easier to impersonate an officer. It's no different than hospital or school employees having to wear ID badges.

    The issue in AZ, at least from my perspective, isn't with requiring immigrants to carry proof of legal residency. Every legal immigrant I've known has carried their visa or green card at all times. The issue is that you can't just look at someone and tell if their an immigrant, legal or not. 1/4-1/3 of the population in AZ is Hispanic, many are US citizens whose families came to the US 3-4 generations ago. They are no different than people of Italian descent in NY/NJ. The implementation of this law effectively means that everyone in AZ has to carry proof of citizenship at all times. There is no way AZ can carry out the new law without trampling on the rights of American citizens.

  • tla919 May 20, 2010

    What is wrong with ppl??

  • tla919 May 20, 2010

    Go Girl